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We're off on a mini-break! Yay!

I'll probably swap to photo posts while we're away.
Leaving Sydney behind
Selfie on the plane
Arrived at Brisvegas

jess - 20th Nov 2013, 23:46 tags: nablopomo nablopomo13 brisvegas


I think this will be the last of the Machu Picchu posts. I thought I'd post a few more of the photos we took on our morning there.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

jess - 19th Nov 2013, 20:45 tags: nablopomo nablopomo13 pensieve south_america peru machu_picchu

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Audrey came to our house for a sleepover this weekend. Evie was super excited about Audrey's visit. All last week she talked about how Audrey was coming over and how Audrey was going to sleep in her room (not going to happen... Audrey slept in our spare room).

Of course the reality of the visit was a little bit different. Evie delighted a little bit too much in tormenting Audrey. They played nicely together most of the time but we did have to step in to separate them on occasion. By the end of the visit Andrew and I were wondering how the parents of twins coped (actually, we've seen the Veitch family at work. They have awesome mediation skills. Send them to the Middle East!)
Audrey and Evie
Cleaning teeth
Ready for bed
In the morning

The next morning Nan and TD came over and we took the girls out to brunch. Evie and Audrey had such a fun time playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. The girls' pants and socks were soaking by the end of the morning. Evie's gumboots are still wet through.
Audrey and Evie Evie and Audrey
Evie Audrey

jess - 18th Nov 2013, 16:55 tags: nablopomo nablopomo13 evie audrey

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There are two ways to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco. The most popular way with young people is the Inca Trail. An 80 km hike from Cusco that takes 4 or 5 days. The trekkers enter Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate. The other way to get there is on a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and then a bus up the hill to Machu Picchu. We picked the second way. The old people way (we did have to get up really early in the morning!).
Train ride

I can't remember why we picked the old way. I think we had limited time in South America so we couldn't afford to spend 5 days walking somewhere. I don't think I would have coped with the trek anyway. The Inca people liked to build things up high and I don't have the surest head for heights. From what I've seen of other people's photos there are lots of narrow pathways built on the sides of cliffs.

Another popular thing to do at Machu Picchu is to climb Huayna Picchu. It's the peak you see in the background of the classic Machu Picchu shot. They only let 400 people up a day and there was a long queue when we arrived in the morning. The climb to the summit is described as steep and exposed so I'm not sure that we would have done it anyway. (Well, I definitely wouldn't have. Andrew doesn't have my problem with heights.) We saw someone being stretchered off the mountain on the morning we were there.
Huayna Picchu
Queuing to climb Huayna Picchu
Stretchered down from Huayna Picchu

Even without the trek or the additional climb Machu Picchu is still on the side of the mountain. There are lots of steep stairways and long drops off the sides of cliffs. That was enough of an adventure for me.
Long drop

I assume even the trekkers catch the train back to Cusco so they don't miss the funniest part of the train trip. On the way home the train conductors gave a fashion parade down the aisles of the train carriage complete with pop music soundtrack. It was bizarre and had everyone in the carriage clapping and cheering.
Fashion parade Fashion parade Fashion parade

jess - 17th Nov 2013, 20:56 tags: nablopomo nablopomo13 pensieve south_america peru machu_picchu

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So I've figured out why Andrew is touching the rock. It's one of the sacred rocks of Machu Picchu. Apparently the rock is connected to the energy of the earth and you can recharge yourself by touching the rock.

More interestingly the rock has been carved so that it echoes Phutuqk'usi, the mountain behind it. The Incas at Machu Picchu considered the mountain holy.
Sacred Rock

Here is another rock carved to look like the mountains behind it. The Incas liked to honour nature in their architecture.
Rocks carved to reflect the mountains

jess - 16th Nov 2013, 17:32 tags: nablopomo nablopomo13 pensieve south_america peru machu_picchu

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